I’ll never forget the day my husband went missing all day. Of course he left his phone at home, that was nothing new. I knew he was nearby because I could hear his faint laughter as I sat on the porch. This is often how I found him when he went missing. I would go stand on the porch, listen for his laugh, and figure out which neighbor he was with. But that day his laugh was coming from a neighbor’s house I didn’t know, so I just waited for him to come home.
Hours and hours later he came home and told me that I had to come with him to meet our neighbors. I would love them, he promised. I was skeptical, but I went anyway. That was the night I met Ron and Donna. And he was right, I would love them.
Sometimes you meet someone and they instantly become your family. That is how it was with Ron and Donna. We just clicked. After that first night we met up until they left for Oregon that spring, I don’t think I went more than one day without seeing them. We would walk over after dinner and play dice and talk and laugh. It made me sad to think that I had lived there for so many years without knowing them. When they left that summer, they left a big hole in the world we had come to know.
Fall came and they returned, things continued much the same and then years passed. We have done so much together. Laughed, cried, made fun of Tim, saw the Diamondbacks and Dwight Yoakum, ate crab in Laughlin, watched the kids play sports, played dice and just talked. The people who lived on the corner that we spent years not knowing, became family we didn’t even know we needed.
Thursday morning we found out that Ron was gone and the world as we knew it was shattered. He went in for a routine procedure and he didn’t come back out. A wonderful woman lost the love of her life, four great kids lost their father, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren lost their grandpa, a mother and father lost their first born son, and so many others lost a dear friend. It doesn’t seem right, and it still doesn’t feel real.
I’m not sure when I’ll stop hurting, but I know I will never stop missing him. I can still hear him saying, “Hey Kiddo” on repeat in my head. I hope that never goes away.
We love you, Ron. And we will miss you always.